Leaders of four major Jewish organizations have indicated to the Obama Administration that they will have a 60-day moratorium during which they will refrain from conducting any public campaign urging Congress to strengthen U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The understanding was reached during a sometimes tense meeting at the White House this week between a group of senior Administration officials led by National Security Adviser Susan Rice and executives and leaders from an ad hoc “quartet” of influential Jewish organizations: AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, The Anti-Defamation League and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.
Though they refrained from describing it as “a deal” or a quid pro quo, sources familiar with the meeting said they had agreed to a limited “grace period” only after hearing assurances from the Administration that it had no intention of easing sanctions or of releasing Iranian funds that have been “frozen” in banks around the world.
Sources in the Jewish establishment emphasized that they did not make any commitment to refrain from supporting new sanctions in their private dealings with the U.S. lawmakers nor would they ask Congress to stop their own initiatives. Another source at an organization represented at the meeting, who insisted on anonymity, said that he “categorically denies that any commitment was given for any such moratorium. In fact, if the Senate moves forward with sanctions legislation, we will support it.”
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